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AR 3A Grill Cloth?


DonT
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Okay I have read the posts about getting the 18 count cloth from 123 stitch but they quit selling it. So I bought Natural Oatmeal 18 Count Zweigart Floba linen. Well now I am just a bit confused? I didn't count the threads of the linen that was on my speakers. I already knew that one cover was most likely replaced because you could see an obvious difference. Plus it had been removed and had Velcro put on it to reattach it and someone replaced the woofer on it as well. Now my other speaker I truly believe had never had the grill removed. I had to cut away small pieces of cloth to get it off. It looks all original. So I got both grills and put the new cloth I ordered over them to compare. Well they all 3 look different. The cloth on the one that I believe is original has a thread count of 24, and the one that I believe was replaced has a thread count of 32? Has anyone seen an original cloth with a thread count of 24? Also that speaker has a real low serial number as well (1121). Any info would be great.

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It's not just the threads per inch, but also the weight/thickness of the strands and the space between each strand. It's possible for fabric to have a low thread count and still be a heavy, solid wall of fiber.

That whitish fabric has threads that look 2 or 3 times the thickness of the other fabrics and much smaller spaces between the threads. It will block substantially more highs. I wouldn't use that one. I don't think I'd want to use the bottom one of the three in the last photo either.

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2 hours ago, genek said:

It's not just the threads per inch, but also the weight/thickness of the strands and the space between each strand. It's possible for fabric to have a low thread count and still be a heavy, solid wall of fiber.

That whitish fabric has threads that look 2 or 3 times the thickness of the other fabrics and much smaller spaces between the threads. It will block substantially more highs. I wouldn't use that one. I don't think I'd want to use the bottom one of the three in the last photo either.

I understand that. I know I took a chance buying the stuff I bought. But everything I have read on here says to get something with an 18 TPI thread count. But from what I can tell my original cloth on the one speaker that was not tampered with it had a 24 TPI. Is that correct? I know I need something with smaller threads. And what I bought was a stab in the dark. I am asking what others have found on there speakers that was original. Then I can try and match it because from what I can tell from mine it should be 24 TPI not 18?

 

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AR grill linen changed several times over the years, and my guess is it was originally spec'd by weight rather than by thread count (because that's how fabric is generally cataloged). So we shouldn't use 18ct as an absolute all by itself.

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7 hours ago, genek said:

AR grill linen changed several times over the years, and my guess is it was originally spec'd by weight rather than by thread count (because that's how fabric is generally cataloged). So we shouldn't use 18ct as an absolute all by itself.

So in other words if I find the correct 24 TPI cloth that would be correct for these speakers. Thanks

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Visually, what you want to look at is the spaces between the strands, which should be wider than the strands themselves. About 2/3 of the fabric area should be empty space.

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1 hour ago, genek said:

Visually, what you want to look at is the spaces between the strands, which should be wider than the strands themselves. About 2/3 of the fabric area should be empty space.

Yes I get that. I am still wondering if others have original AR 3A speakers with 24 TPI grill cloth. I need to replace mine but instead of buying something that isn't quite correct it would be nice to find something that is as close to original as possible. Especially because the cloth that most everyone was using is no longer available. So anyone with an original early set that still has the original grill cloth on them if they could chime in that would be great because I am still not 100% sure mine is original?

 

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29 minutes ago, DonT said:

So anyone with an original early set that still has the original grill cloth on them if they could chime in that would be great because I am still not 100% sure mine is original?

I have sets with original grill cloth.  One set has 24 the other is 18. The fabric on all four grills is slubbed linen.

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The 2ax's I bought new in 1975 had a finer grill cloth than most of the earlier ARs I've seen, including the early 6s I used to have.

Here's a scan of some AR fabric, year unknown, and a ruler. My old eyes aren't up to counting the threads, but if anyone else wants to give it a shot...CCF.jpg

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3 hours ago, genek said:

The 2ax's I bought new in 1975 had a finer grill cloth than most of the earlier ARs I've seen, including the early 6s I used to have.

Here's a scan of some AR fabric, year unknown, and a ruler. My old eyes aren't up to counting the threads, but if anyone else wants to give it a shot...CCF.jpg

24 by my count. Thanks to all the responses. now if I can find a suitable replacement. I think the cloth I bought has threads that are to thick. 

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10 hours ago, genek said:

And this is the the leading candidate from my recent quest for samples from a new source:

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I counted 20 but more importantly in searching for linen is the varying thickness of the threads in the original. So not only the count but the varying thread thickness also. 

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44 minutes ago, lakecat said:

I counted 20 but more importantly in searching for linen is the varying thickness of the threads in the original. So not only the count but the varying thread thickness also. 

Yes I agree. It is really hard to find the correct thickness (Or in this case thinness) of thread in the weave. I have requests out for samples. We will see?

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I tried to find suitable replacement grill cloth for a set of very early 901's that I restored. Originals were badly stained from whatever. I ended up using a product called Blue Coral upholstery cleaner. Worked very well. If the fabric is just stained you might want to try this product. It came well recommended by auto restoration people. I couldn't find it in places like Home Depot or hardware stores. I did find it at a Advance Auto Parts store in the cleaning supplies section.

 

-Tom

901.jpg

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  • 2 months later...

My wife is a crafts person.  I asked her back in April to call her usual people.  The impression she got was the British company, Wichelt, who makes the 18 ct. lambswool  has decided to stop making it.  Go figure.

Edited by kryten79
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On 7/31/2021 at 10:06 AM, Chris1this1 said:

Hello, has anyone had any luck finding suitable grille fabric? I just checked 123 stitch again, still sold out…or maybe not carrying the 18 ct lambswool anymore.  

Chris....did a big search after 123 said it was discontinued. Bought a little bit from other vendors but they can't find anymore either. There is a 20ct that is being made and Larry ordered some...but it has to be ordered from overseas the last time I checked. Maybe Larry will chime in and tell us if he got his order in yet....and see how close this is...but may be our only choice in future. 

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Yes I did order the 20 count lambswool. If you go to the Wichelt website they list it. You have to order it from one of there preferred retailers. I chose a shop in Minnetonka MN (Stichville USA). The owner called me and said they have not received the 20 count yet, but she had a yard of the 18 count lambswool so that's what I got. If you look around at various Cross Stich stores you might find it.  Since then I have found more 18 count.  It would be interesting to get ahold of some 20 count for comparison. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/2/2021 at 10:35 AM, lARrybody said:

Yes I did order the 20 count lambswool. If you go to the Wichelt website they list it. You have to order it from one of there preferred retailers. I chose a shop in Minnetonka MN (Stichville USA). The owner called me and said they have not received the 20 count yet, but she had a yard of the 18 count lambswool so that's what I got. If you look around at various Cross Stich stores you might find it.  Since then I have found more 18 count.  It would be interesting to get ahold of some 20 count for comparison. 

Any update on the 20 count lambswool linen?  I'm hoping there is a suitable replacement cloth on the market for my current restoration.

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